US rate on 30-year mortgage slips to 3.34 pct.
Lower mortgage rates also have persuaded more people to refinance. That typically leads to lower monthly mortgage payments and more spending. Consumer spending drives nearly 70 percent of economic activity.
Still, the housing market has a long way to a full recovery. And many people are unable to take advantage of the low rates, either because they can't qualify for stricter lending rules or they lack the money to meet larger down payment requirements.
To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country on Monday through Wednesday of each week. The average doesn't include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.
The average fee for 30-year loans was 0.7 point, unchanged from last week. The fee for 15-year loans edged down to 0.6 from 0.7 point.
The average rate on a one-year adjustable-rate mortgage rose to 2.57 percent from 2.56 percent. The fee for one-year adjustable-rate loans dipped to 0.4 from 0.5 point.
The average rate on a five-year adjustable-rate mortgage ticked up to 2.71 percent from 2.70 percent last week. The fee declined to 0.6 point from 0.7.
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